Parts of Happy New Year 2016 image by IceHawk33 at Free Digital Photos used
’Tis the season to make resolutions, yes? A new year often begets new goals, new resolutions. Unfortunately, by the end of January, many of those resolutions are left in the far, dark recesses of our mind.
One reason resolutions often fail is we resolve to do something, but we don’t set out a strategy to actually complete the task.
Whether you use the term “resolution” or “declaration,” it’s important for you to understand what you are resolving or declaring in your writing goals, and developing the structure to bring your goals to fruition.
Let’s think about resolutions for a minute.
Merriam-Webster defines “resolution” in the following ways:
- the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. : the act of resolving something
- an answer or solution to something
- ability of a device to show an image clearly and with a lot of detail
The top resolution of every new year is “I will lose weight.” The problem with that resolution is there is no ACTION to it. The real problem is the person more than likely feels fat and doesn't like it, so the obvious answer/solution is to lose weight. But what does “lose weight” look like? It would be better to say the problem is losing weight, and then the resolution would include the ACTION to actually lose the weight (i.e., eating certain amount of calories a day, exercising X amount of times a week, etc.).
The same goes for our writing resolutions. Yes, you want to write, but that’s too broad. Yes, you might want to write two novels and half a dozen short stories, but again, that’s too broad. The HOW of getting this writing done should be a part of your resolution. Doing this allows you to activate your goals in words, and then ultimately, in your actions.
Years ago, I stopped making resolutions—not because resolutions were bad but because (at the time) I didn’t realize that I was making the wrong resolutions. My resolutions were actually the problems I needed solutions to.
I moved from resolutions to declarations because, for me, a declaration hits me in a way that sticks to my mind and my spirit and my desire to want to complete the task.
Dictionary.com defines “declare” in the following ways:
- make known or state clearly, esp. in explicit or formal terms
- announce officially; proclaim: to declare a state of emergency
- state emphatically: He declared that the allegation was a lie
- manifest; reveal; show
Now, what does all of this have to do with writing?
Simply this, it doesn’t matter if you make writing resolutions or writing declarations, but whichever you choose, you want to make sure you think about the following things:
- Be specific with your resolution/declaration. What will you actually DO?
- Envision the HOW. It’s nice to have a list of to-dos, but if you don’t have a plan as to HOW you will complete the list, you will fail at resolving and declaring.
- Set goals. So, you know what you will DO, and you know HOW you will do these things. Now, set goals, that is set deadlines along the way that confirm your progress and your forward march toward completion.
- Reward self. Yes, you deserve pats on the back for completing tasks. These pats allow us to feel good about ourselves and keep on, keeping’ on.
Just envision your goals, the paths to completing your goals, and the rewards for the progress.
What resolutions/declarations are you making for 2016? Do you have a plan set up to complete them?
|Creative Passionista Shon Bacon is an author, editor, and educator whose biggest joys are writing and helping others develop their craft. She has published both creatively and academically and interviews women writers on her popular blog ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her author website.|